DARK music

Discussion of music production, audio, equipment and any related topics, either with or without Ableton Live
stjohn
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:20 am

DARK music

Post by stjohn » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:35 pm

ok, sorry for the obviously vague and slightly clueless question. but I am a huge fan of the darker side of electronic music from Regis/Surgeon/Ancient Methods to Coil/Nurse with Wound and so on.
but everytime i sit down to a midi keyboard i end up writing super happy stuff. im not the most musical guy, but im will to learn. could anyone please indicate reading/midi/sheet music/listening/chord progressions to help me out with writing weird and creepy melodies? :evil: :evil: :evil:

leedsquietman
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Re: DARK music

Post by leedsquietman » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:44 pm

You got the reference material - work out how to play some of those tracks, and see which sounds and chord sequences they are using, but using minor chords, fuzzing/saturating/distorting things up from drums to vocals to get that gritty industrial sound etc would be a good place to start. And if there are vocals, don't write Celine Dion type love ballad lyrics, write about blood and gore, death and suicide and use aggressive adjectives but not in an overly aggressive way (that would be black metal).

Then you too can be another clone on the darkwave/emo/goth/industrial bandwagon, fast tracked by dying your hair black and wearing make up and cutting, who think they are being cool and alternative :lol:
http://soundcloud.com/umbriel-rising http://www.myspace.com/leedsquietmandemos Live 7.0.18 SUITE, Cubase 5.5.2], Soundforge 9, Dell XPS M1530, 2.2 Ghz C2D, 4GB, Vista Ult SP2, legit plugins a plenty, Alesis IO14.

dton
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Location: Brno, Czech Republic

Re: DARK music

Post by dton » Thu Sep 16, 2010 5:56 pm

ABBA - major
NIN - minor

'nuff said.

However, you don't 'learn' how to make music 'dark' (whatever that is), you just do it.
Beware the water.

Machinesworking
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Location: Seattle

Re: DARK music

Post by Machinesworking » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:58 pm

stjohn wrote: but I am a huge fan of the darker side of electronic music from Regis/Surgeon/Ancient Methods to Coil/Nurse with Wound and so on.
Cool.
but everytime i sit down to a midi keyboard i end up writing super happy stuff. im not the most musical guy, but im will to learn. could anyone please indicate reading/midi/sheet music/listening/chord progressions to help me out with writing weird and creepy melodies? :evil: :evil: :evil:
I dunno? Here's the thing, it's not important that you write and play the kind of music you listen to, in fact you probably write better happy stuff than most people because you're not emulating certain artists to a T etc. Go with it, write happy stuff with sick lyrics or something, invent a new genre, world needs something new....

Pitch Black
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Re: DARK music

Post by Pitch Black » Thu Sep 16, 2010 7:56 pm

Flattened 5ths all the way baby! AKA "Diabolus in Musica" AKA "The Devil in Music"
Image
What that means is whenever you play a C, make sure you play an F sharp at the same time. Try it, it's the official "I want to scare Mum" chord. You'll hear it in everything from Classical to Goth to Horror Movies to DnB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_in_m ... rical_uses

MPGK
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Re: DARK music

Post by MPGK » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:36 pm

Pitch Black wrote:Flattened 5ths all the way baby! AKA "Diabolus in Musica" AKA "The Devil in Music"
Image
What that means is whenever you play a C, make sure you play an F sharp at the same time. Try it, it's the official "I want to scare Mum" chord. You'll hear it in everything from Classical to Goth to Horror Movies to DnB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil_in_m ... rical_uses
To go a step further: Wholetone scale. Great for horror film music.

Just whole steps, e.g. A B C# D# F G.

In this scale, you only have augmented chords. Also, from every tone there's a tritone (b5/#4) upwards (or downwards, for that matter).
Sounds like a labyrinth, because there really is no starting or ending point to this scale.

Edit:
It's lo-fi, but I guess this will give you a good idea what notes I'm talking about:
http://soundcloud.com/mpgk/where-are-yo ... -with-this
Last edited by MPGK on Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Robmobius
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:21 pm

Re: DARK music

Post by Robmobius » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:39 pm

Hey 'dere,

I know what you mean.... I'm well into "Dark" Drum & Bass. And like yourself, I'm not the most technical musician around and seemed to write some nice stuff. :)

That said, I find having the "right sound" so important, and very inspirational. I originally started out using Sylenth 1 after recommendations. Now, it's a great synth for sure, but imho it's better suited to "brighter" electronic music. So I switched synths... I'm using Rob Papen's Predator and NI Massive. Both seem very suited to dark bass lines and chords, and the modulation options are cool, so you can end up with some really mad stuff.

Adding a lot of distortion and repetitive tones can help, as well as playing stuff very low. Picking dissonant chords will help big time, as been said by the op.

Rob.

glitchrock-buddha
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Re: DARK music

Post by glitchrock-buddha » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:32 pm

The most obvious comment wouuld be use a lot of minor chords. Stuff like Gmin to Dmin. Or throw in some harmonic minor type stuff like the chords Amin and Emaj together. Also, "Dark" Music always always has at least some parts that have back to back semi-tones as an integral part of the melody, be it in minor or major chord changes.
Example:
Just play a C5th (C and G notes), hold a synth pad or something like that. Then move the C up to C# for a diminished sound. Or raise the G to a G#, which creates a moj interval, but sounds dark when combined with the 5th before it. Both changes could be done using C maj or min chords to start actually.
Professional Shark Jumper.

duro
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Re: DARK music

Post by duro » Thu Sep 16, 2010 11:38 pm

Wow guys, these are great tips. I'm also a big "dark" music fan, and these theory points are great hints in the right direction.

stjohn
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:20 am

Re: DARK music

Post by stjohn » Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:05 am

whoop. thanks guys. i knew id get some great tips. everything from the flatten 5th.. all superb. thanks alot.
leedsquietman wrote:You got the reference material - work out how to play some of those tracks, and see which sounds and chord sequences they are using, but using minor chords, fuzzing/saturating/distorting things up from drums to vocals to get that gritty industrial sound etc would be a good place to start. And if there are vocals, don't write Celine Dion type love ballad lyrics, write about blood and gore, death and suicide and use aggressive adjectives but not in an overly aggressive way (that would be black metal).

Then you too can be another clone on the darkwave/emo/goth/industrial bandwagon, fast tracked by dying your hair black and wearing make up and cutting, who think they are being cool and alternative :lol:
hehe, there is just no pleasing some ppl! i try my best not to be hip and i fall into another bandwagon! :D just joking. nah i think im ok, i try my best to not sound like anyone, although im sure i do. heres something for yo ears anyway if you want ;)
http://soundcloud.com/chrome-metronome/reshift610

@dton: you should play the piano professionally. white notes for weddings, black notes for funerals :) ( i think i robbed that joke from this forum)
thanks all.. more tips, keep em coming

kev herb
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Re: DARK music

Post by kev herb » Fri Sep 17, 2010 2:37 am

Use the ableton chord pluggin and turn the knobs till a dark chord is produced then play away with one finger much the same sound as sampling a pad chord and playing with one finger to get that oldskool darkside drum and bass sound... Scares the shit out of me!
Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia- Fear of long words

antarktika
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Re: DARK music

Post by antarktika » Fri Sep 17, 2010 8:42 am

Epic reverb!!!
Last time I saw Nurse w/ Wound they did a cover of old man river, maybe you could try that?

Robmobius
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Joined: Tue Aug 03, 2010 8:21 pm

Re: DARK music

Post by Robmobius » Fri Sep 17, 2010 11:08 am

It's definitely worth looking at other genres for influence, as I said I listed to quite a bit of Punk & Metal. I at at times try to bring some off their elements into my electronic music (Dark Drum Bass). Which tends to make it have different tones and more aggressive.

stjohn
Posts: 478
Joined: Tue Sep 12, 2006 2:20 am

Re: DARK music

Post by stjohn » Fri Sep 17, 2010 7:17 pm

antarktika wrote:Epic reverb!!!
Last time I saw Nurse w/ Wound they did a cover of old man river, maybe you could try that?
last time i saw them they played a cover of 'My Lovely Horse' from Father Ted.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzYzVMcgWhg

:D

tyrosine
Posts: 43
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:42 pm

Re: DARK music

Post by tyrosine » Sat Sep 18, 2010 3:44 am

I'd say to consider the interface – in this case, the keyboard that has been around for centuries. It lays out all the notes in front of you and sometimes that's a trap for your mind. It might seem counter-intuitive but try using the piano roll to enter notes. Something machine-like about that, I come up with completely different melodies when I only use the laptop vs when I have a controller around.

And yeah, check out some music theory (minor scales/chords) as people have mentioned. Tritones...

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